Question about machines and streaking

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Akki14, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I noticed this on some film I had developed and printed at a local chemist (Boots). At first I thought it was my camera because I'm using an old camera and maybe it was somewhat scratching the film. Then I had a closer look at the pictures my husband took with our Nikons and found similar streaking. Is this is just poorly cleaned machines and the chemicals are causing streaking? It's not just the prints, I scanned a negative just to get a better look and the streaking is in the film, so to speak.
    It's not scratches as far as I can see if I hold up the film to the light or have the film at an oblique angle to the light to see the surface of the film. It's kind of odd.

    18.jpg is taken with a Nikon SLR we've never had problems with. finetta18.jpg is taken with my Finetta 88 camera which is a sort of old rangefinder-type of camera.

    I hate to have to give up on local services but those are very noticable and I only noticed after complaining about one of my negatives being cut in half through the middle of a frame, after we were assured they would be handcut... yes handcut by a moron apparently... :mad:
     

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  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, it's probably just dirty rollers on the machine. Find a lab that uses a dip-and-dunk processor and you won't have this problem.
     
  3. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I guess I'm back to sending off all my colour film to somewhere else then. I'm fairly sure everywhere local uses minilab-type machines with rollers. Heck I think the place I send my film to normally uses that too but they keep their machines in better condition as I've never had a problem with their service.

    Oh well, so much for trying new things. Were "corner shop" printing services always this bad? Obviously I'm too young to know any better :smile:
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I concur with David, it looks like dirty rollers. Roller transport is alright for paper as you can always re-do a print, but film is a once off.

    That said although Dip 'n' Dunk machines are pretty much perfect for large scale developing with near perfect results, the one format that it isn't the greatest in, is 35mm film.

    The problem lies with the way the film is put into the bath and held on the mechanism.

    35 mm film is so long it has to be folded in half. Imagine a coat hanger with a tie hanging on it, that is pretty much how 35mm film is held.

    The film is looped over a curved shape (at the top) with the emulsion facing outside, the ends of the film are clipped back to back on a special double film clip (at the bottom).

    One of the hardest jobs in the lab was loading 35mm film without mishap. The problem is compounded by the fact you are working in an enclosed, small space. The temperature of the developer, in fact all of the baths, is 37.7C. This high temperature in an enclosed space, combined with the extreme humidity makes you hot and sweaty very quickly. The other interesting fact is that you do this in complete darkness, don't think about asking how one finds film when you drop a roll on the floor!

    By the time you have loaded the 4th film on the rack, (they hold 4 rolls) your fingers can sometimes stick like anything to the film emulsion if you grab it in the wrong place. Once the rack is loaded with film you then remove it from it's resting place and carefully lift it up to catch the rack hangers. This is where 35mm film really gets interesting, the film is so long, the weighted ends swing a bit, sometimes they can get entangled with each other as they are only about 50mm apart, rarely, the top loop (centre of the film) turns vertical as it slips between the steel frame and the curved shape.

    If the dryer is running a bit hot because they are developing humungus amounts of film and bumping the heater up quickens the film drying, you can have the centre frame of the film permanently shaped like a boomerang

    Apart from that, Dip 'n' Dunk is terrific!

    You ask, "were corner shops always this bad?" Yes they were, more or less. Film developing is an exact science, humans run things, the exact science part doesn't always happen. It is because of things like human error and sometimes sloppy practice, which is also human error, that I eventually decided to develop my own colour film about 25 years ago, still do.

    I'm not suggesting that you should develop your own film, look around, see if you can find a local lab that has reasonably good throughput. Good throughput usually means there will be good maintenance, low throughput means the staff have a good chance of eventually becoming slack.

    Mick.
     
  5. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    I had a similar issue with a local processor. The good thing is that I just wanted proofs and planned to do enlargements of the photographs I liked.